Back in November, I shared a vlog post on becoming less self-conscious. I have more on that, as it is still something I am working on. I find that when I go back to my university, it stresses me out like nothing else. I still worry what people think of me, particularly people I have grown apart from.
So I tried to write a letter to a friend from uni who I’ve grown apart from. She has told me herself that she is unabashedly “snobby” (she went to Exeter), and although she isn’t the first person you might think of as such, it resonated with the vibe I was getting from her in those days. Now in my letter I started talking about myself and, oddly enough, the negative aspects of my current journey. Or rather, just trying to explain myself and why I’ve been treating her with resentment. Unconsciously, I was attempting to justify myself and couldn’t stop dwelling on the fear of her judgment of me. I saw that we were undermining each other through mutual fear and bad faith.
Then I remembered something from my self-confidence trial: just as I used to just bombard myself with negative thoughts about myself, and had to suddenly say no them to reach self-confidence, I was bombarding her with negative thoughts and affirmations. I was affirming her judgment of me, by dwelling on it. I was affirming her fears, as well as my own. I was rationalizing them.
This is not worth it. I said “STOP!” to that train of thought. So now I am choosing to make affirmations of different sort: Just look at her and see the beauty there. Forget all else. Forget the pain, forget regrets, forget yesterday. It’s not about whether she is snobbish or thinks I’m a piece of crap or stupid or pathetic. I’m going to make the affirmation that those thoughts aren’t there for her. That she has total confidence in me.
She sees the beauty in me. She is great at seeing the strengths of others (that’s something I appreciated about her before we grew apart). I must find her strengths, even as I seek out my own. What’s so beautiful about her? Find that! Seek it! Don’t look back! Keep going, keep going, find the beauty!
We are blessed with mind-reading superpowers. But, with great power comes great responsibility. We can use it to read negative, hurtful intentions and focus on them and undermine each other. Or we can use these powers to seek out the positive, to affirm it and bring it out. If we use this power well, we will all be happier for it.
Although I was thinking of myself as an actress in terms of saying “I am self-confident,” it wasn’t always enough, because I was not thinking of myself as an actress in terms of saying of others, “they have confidence in me.” Since our understanding of others is a reflection of ourselves, by thinking that they didn’t have confidence in me and focusing on that, I was, without realizing it, doubting myself. My affirmations of self-confidence were simultaneously being undermined by myself. No wonder I kept going back and forth between feeling self-confident and not.
Now I will act as if this is already so, as if everyone has confidence in me, as if the whole world celebrates my beauty, my strengths, my happiness. This will be my point of departure rather than merely my goal. I can stop trying at the goal and start being the goal. I will be their confidence in me, rather than their doubting and their weakness.
This – this act – is faith.